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Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award

Published January 21, 2015

NYC Parks announced that the site this year will be Court Square Park in Long Island City, Queens. The $10,000 award will be granted to an artist to create a site specific work of temporary public art that will be on view for up to one year.

DEADLINE: March 22, 2015
INSTALLATION: Fall 2015 (subject to change)


Clare Weiss (1966-2010) was the Public Art Curator for New York City’s Department of Parks & Recreation. During her tenure she curated more than 100 outdoor public art installations throughout the city and organized complex, thought-provoking and visually compelling thematic exhibitions for the Arsenal Gallery. Clare’s passion, humanity, energy, courage, and collaborative zeal were valued by all who knew her.

The Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award is granted annually to one emerging artist who submits the most compelling proposal for an outdoor sculpture in a New York City park. The location changes annually and is determined based on the site’s visibility and proximity within a neighborhood underserved by public art.


Court Square Park, located in Long Island City, Queens, has been selected as the location for the 2015
Award. Tall birch trees surround a central fountain, which leads up to the steps of the neo-English Renaissance courthouse. The park is visible from the highly trafficked Jackson Avenue, the adjacent Citigroup Building, and the subway entrance. Artwork can be sited on the lawns and pathway, but cannot be attached to the fountain. There is an existing concrete pad measuring 17’ 6” x 10’ 6” on the southwest lawn on that can be used to display artworks. Please note, the proposal should allow for pedestrian flow and objects cannot be attached to trees. Proposals cannot be made for the paved plaza directly in front of the Court House, as this is not part of NYC Parks’ property. If the sculpture is anchored into the pavers, the budget should allow for the cost of replacing damaged pavers.

These guidelines should be taken into consideration when drafting proposals for this park. Photographs of the site can be found on the Parks website. The selected sculpture will be exhibited for a maximum of one year. Artists are strongly encouraged to visit Court Square Park before submitting a proposal. Applicants must take into account the site’s terrain and submit proposals that will stand up to the park’s particular urban outdoor environment. Sculptures installed in New York City’s Parks must meet the department’s safety requirements and be able to withstand the effects of weather and public interaction.

No proposals for previously exhibited sculptures will be accepted. This award is open to New York City-based emerging artists only.


The chosen recipient will be granted an award in the amount of $10,000. The recipient is highly encouraged to procure in-kind support and other additional funding necessary to support this installation.

The Award recipient shall be solely responsible for the installation and removal of the artwork and shall provide at his or her sole cost and expense; all labor, services, and supervision necessary. Additional expenses the artist will be responsible for include fabrication, insurance and maintenance of the sculpture
for the duration of the exhibition. At the end of the award term, the artist is responsible for returning the park location to its original condition. This project must adhere to NYC Parks specifications for public art.

NYC Parks will assist the awarded artist with technical logistics such as permitting and site specifications.
The artist will be responsible for engineering documents if they are necessary.
The Award recipient will be selected through an open application process. Proposals will be reviewed by a jury comprised of an artist, an independent curator, and a NYC Parks representative. Proposals will be judged according to artistic and creative merit and suitability to the site.


Proposals will only be accepted from New York City-based emerging artists— artists who have specialized training in their field (not necessarily gained in an academic institution), who are at an early stage in their career, and who have created a modest independent body of work. Artists who are enrolled in a school, college or university are not eligible for the Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award.

TIMELINE (all dates are subject to change)

March 22, 2015: Proposals due. Proposals can be submitted earlier.
April 20, 2015: Award Recipient announced
Fall 2015: Sculpture installed in Park with dedication ceremony and opening reception


Proposals must include:

  • Resume with current contact information
  • One-page statement describing artist’s work in general
  • Proposed sculpture
  • Detailed description of no more than 2 written pages
  • Representative drawings or renderings if sculpture has not been fabricated
  • Images of sculpture if it is already fabricated
  • List of materials proposed/used; dimensions (including weight)
  • Installation recommendations
  • Maintenance recommendations
  • Names and full contact information of two references who are familiar with artist and artist’s work
  • 5-6 images of previous work (8×10 color prints or if emailing jpegs no larger than 1mb each); each image should be labeled and succinctly described
  • Materials will not be returned.
  • All materials must be received by March 22, 2015. Proposals should be
    sent or emailed to:
    Clare Weiss Emerging Artist Award
    Art & Antiquities
    City of New York Parks & Recreation
    The Arsenal
    New York, NY 10065

For more information contact Clare Weiss at  or visit